Historical Sites

Souther Tide Mill

Souther Tide Mill, Southern Artery, Quincy, MA, USA

Owned By: City of Quincy

Located at 622 Southern Artery in Quincy, the historic Souther Tide Mill can be viewed from a distance. In earlier times, this spot was home to a shipyard, a wharf, a grist mill, and a sawmill.


The following information was gleaned from the Souther Tide Mill website. Its source is the Winter 1981 issue of Quincy History, by H. Hobart Holly. The mill is dated to 1806.

In 1802, Ebenezer Thayer purchased about 39 acres of land at this spot and built two wharves. In 1806, he received authorization to build a dam across the Town River, for a mill. In 1814, Thayer sold the mill property to David Stetson, who then sold it to John Souther. Souther operated a shipyard, wharf, grist mill, and sawmill at this site, also also managed the lock on the canal. The grist and sawmills were tide mills.

The Quincy Canal was constructed to help transport granite from Quincy’s quarries in the North Common or Quarry Street area. Souther deeded the Quincy Canal Corporation free passage through the dam that stood here. Unlike the Granite Railway, which served a similar purpose, the Quincy Canal was not successful. The wharves, tow-paths, and mill pond no longer exist, but remains of abutments and tide gate structures can be seen near the tide mill building.

In 1873 the Southers sold the shipyard properties and their wharf to Wilber F. Larkin, who converted it to a lumber yard. In later years, it was known as the Johnson Lumber Company, and then (c. 1912) the Quincy Lumber Company. The younger Souther sold the dam and mills to Johnson in 1888.

This land is within the region of the Neponset band of the Massachusett (or Massachuseuk). To learn more about local Native American tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Massachusett tribe at Ponkapoag shares information on its website. 

Habitats and Wildlife

Set in a small grassy park with some sumac trees, the Souther Tide Mill is located at the spot where the Quincy Canal empties into the Town River. The Town River flows into the Fore River a short distance downstream of the Quincy-Weymouth line.

The Fore River serves as the boundary line between the towns of Weymouth and Braintree. It flows for about 3 miles, into Quincy, where it meets Town River, and then flows for another 2 miles into Hingham Bay. In its final few miles, the Fore River is nearly a mile wide in some places. Follow the Fore River Watershed Association more information about the Monatiquot and Fore Rivers.

  • Photograph of a black Souther Tide Mill property sign with a gray wooden mill building in the background.
  • Photograph of the gray-shingled South Tide Mill building at the edge of a canal, with clear blue skies.
  • Photograph of part of a gray-shingled mill building at the edge of a canal on a sunny day with blue skies.
  • Photograph of a gray-shingled mill building at the edge of a canal with clear blue skies.
Souther Tide Mill, Southern Artery, Quincy, MA, USA

Historic Site: Yes

Park: No

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: 1 acre

Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Parking: Small parking area (2 vehicles) next to CVS.

Cost: Free


Trash receptacle.

Dogs: Dogs must remain on leash. Scoop the poop!

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: No

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Town River (Fore River watershed)

Other Things to Do at This Site